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"Thickened Ground", Thesis Research and Project, January - June 2012 "Thickened ground" attempts to look at the inter-relationship between building typology, building code and topography in Hong Kong, and to propose an alternate reality to the status quo.

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  • Re-Groundingreinterpretation of ground, datum and mass

    Thesis ReportCalvin Chan

  • B

  • iRe-Groundingreinterpretation of ground, datum and mass

    Thesis ReportMaster of Architecture 2011- 2012

    University of Hong Kong

    The artificial ground has been thickened by means of shifting datum defined by building code. The ever-shifting datum continuously disengages itself from the idea of ground. Programs are interiorized. Open spaces are rendered as leftover spaces. Is it possible to imagine an alternate scenario: by reinterpreting datum, the thickened ground is also a device to induce intimate spatial relationship between ground and building mass?

  • ii

  • iii

    Content

    Photographic Research 1

    Case Study 3

    First Jury 8

    Building Type 9

    Thesis Statement Thickened Ground 20

    Scale Comparison 24

    Site Selection 28

    Urban Slope 30

    Thickened Ground at site 32

    Second Jury 36

    Site Analysis 37

    Unfolded Journey 50

    Program 52

    Multiple Ground 54

    Multiple Ground Plan 56

    Reshaped Urban Space 58

    Alternate Future 60

    Documentation 62

    Third Jury 76

    Final Jury 77

    Acknowledgements 78

    Bibliography 79

  • Building Plinth on Slopes

    Kwun Tong

    Mid Levels

    Central

  • 55.4 m

    13.2 m

    1

    A Research on Urban Slope High Rise BuildingsHow do high rise buildings reshape the ground to situate themselves on urban slopes?

    In some cases, the building plinths volume in itself is already equivalent to a building in the neighborhood. What is the driving factor behind this phenomenon?

    Is the plinth a genuine representation of what needs to be built?

  • Building Mass

    Structure

    Existing Topography

    Program Space

    2

    Case StudyCase StudyAxonometric studies aims to decode the ingredients of high rises on urban slopes.

  • 3Palm CourtYear of Completion: 1964Lcoation: Mid-LevelsSite Area: 1,674 m2Ground Level Differeence: 18 m

  • 4Tai Hong CourtYear of Completion: 1965Lcoation: Kwun TongSite Area: 2,469 m2Ground Level Differeence: 26 m

  • 5Eastland HeightsYear of Completion: 1976Lcoation: Kowloon TongSite Area: 1,451 m2Ground Level Differeence: 15 m

  • 6Comfort GardensYear of Completion: 1974Lcoation: North PointSite Area: 2,084 m2Ground Level Differeence: 20 m

  • 7Leighton HillYear of Completion: 2002Lcoation: Happy ValleySite Area: 43,143 m2Ground Level Differeence: 30 m

  • Date: February 8th, 2012Panel Members: Alan Smart, Koon Wee

    First Jury

    1. Synopsis of PresentationThe need to develop on hilly topography is a recurring issue for Hong Kong. With the concern of over-reclamation, as well as a lack of flatland in urban areas, it is not difficult to find buildings sitting on a variety of artificial platforms on slopes.

    Axonometric case studies shown as examples

    In the above examples GROUND is considered a separate entity from the building MASS. While in these examples GROUND has a variety of spatial properties, meaning it is not a SURFACE but rather a VOLUME. GROUND is no longer simply a plane for the building to sit on. There exists other types where GROUND and MASS forms an inseparable

    relationship yet to be explored.

    2. Synopsis of Reviewers CommentsKW: Could document Archetypes worldwide with the color-coding of the diagrams and their relationship with the code.KW: Should understand how a slope is reshaped in engineering termsKW: Should revise the criteria in catergorizing types into terms more commonly understood

    3. ResponseNeed a critical understanding about influence of building code on building types.Need a way to revise the catalog to include more useful information. (e.g. level difference/ buidling code/ engineering technique)

  • recreationcarpark

    roadstructure

    Program

    In-between

    Ground/ Access

    Construction

    program

    multiple discontinuous

    multiple continuous

    single discontinuous

    single continuous

    build atopcut and ll

    9

    Building TypeBuilding TypeTo understand the physical, circulatory and programmatic composition of the plinth, four criteria is set up to evaluate each case study.

  • -17.9 m-17.9 m

    Principal Datum(from the lower access)

    Accessible Ground

    -17.9 m-17.9 m

    carparkstructuresingle continuous

    cut and ll

    Hillview GardenYear of Completion: 1963Ground Elevation: 7.7 mPrincipal Datum: -17.9 m

    Principal Datum(from the lower access)

    Accessible Ground10

    Building Type vs Building CodeBuilding Type vs Building CodeFor ease of implementing the code, there is always absolute reference regarded as the Principal Datum for any development in Hong Kong. What is the relationship between this ground with the accessible ground?

  • -17.9 m-17.9 m

    Principal Datum(from the lower access)-17.9 m-17.9 m

    carparkstructuresingle continuous

    cut and ll

    Hillview GardenYear of Completion: 1963Ground Elevation: 7.7 mPrincipal Datum: -17.9 m

    Principal Datum(from the lower access)

    Accessible Ground

    Site

    Bou

    ndar

    ySi

    te B

    ound

    ary

    Site

    Bou

    ndar

    y

    Site

    Bou

    ndar

    ySi

    te B

    ound

    ary

    Site

    Bou

    ndar

    y

    11

  • -17.6 m-17.6 m

    0.0 m0.0 m

    carparkstructuresingle continuous

    build atop carparkroadsingle continuous

    build atop

    Tai Hong Court Palm CourtYear of Completion: 1964Ground Elevation: 13.2 mPrincipal Datum: 0.0 m

    Year of Completion: 1969Ground Elevation: 8.0 mPrincipal Datum: -17.6 m

    12

  • -17.6 m-17.6 m

    0.0 m0.0 m

    carparkstructuresingle continuous

    build atop carparkroadsingle continuous

    build atop

    Tai Hong Court Palm CourtYear of Completion: 1964Ground Elevation: 13.2 mPrincipal Datum: 0.0 m

    Year of Completion: 1969Ground Elevation: 8.0 mPrincipal Datum: -17.6 m

    13

  • 0.0 m0.0 m 0.0 m0.0 m

    carparkroadsingle discontinuous

    build atop carparkprogrammultiple discontinuous

    cut and ll

    Comfort GardensBroadview TerraceYear of Completion: 1977Ground Elevation: 8.3 mPrincipal Datum: 0.0 m

    Year of Completion: 1974Ground Elevation: 20.0 mPrincipal Datum: 0.0 m

    +7.0 m+7.0 m

    single discontinuous

    cut and ll

    Hilltop GardensYear of Completion: 1990Ground Elevation: 24.7 mPrincipal Datum: +7.0 m

    recreationprogram

    14

  • +7.0 m+7.0 m

    single discontinuous

    cut and ll

    Hilltop GardensYear of Completion: 1990Ground Elevation: 24.7 mPrincipal Datum: +7.0 m

    recreationprogram

    15

    15m non-domestic podium...for the non-domestic part of a composite building,on a class A, B or C site may, whatever the height of the building, exceed the permitted percentage site coverage to a height not exceeding 15 m above ground level.Building (Planning)Regulations section20(3)

  • +27.2 m+27.2 m

    recreationroadmultiple discontinuous

    build atop

    Leighton HillYear of Completion: 2000Ground Elevation: 49.8 mPrincipal Datum: +27.2 m

    16

  • +27.2 m+27.2 m

    recreationroadmultiple discontinuous

    build atop

    Leighton HillYear of Completion: 2000Ground Elevation: 49.8 mPrincipal Datum: +27.2 m

    17

  • +35.4 m+35.4 m

    e BelchersYear of Completion: 2002Ground Elevation: 55.4 mPrincipal Datum: +35.4 m

    recreationprogrammultiple discontinuous

    build atop

    18

  • +35.4 m+35.4 m

    e BelchersYear of Completion: 2002Ground Elevation: 55.4 mPrincipal Datum: +35.4 m

    recreationprogrammultiple discontinuous

    build atop

    19

    Datum ShiftThe datum shift is resulted from dividing the development into two; the bottom is dedicated to a shopping mall of commercial purpose while the top is dedicated to residential purpose. The plinth/podium as such is composed of the shopping mall for commerical purpose and a clubhouse for residential purpose.

    The plinth is equivalent to a 20 storey building in itself, which elevates the apartements above a normal building since 70s in its neighborhood.

  • Principal Datum

    2002e Belchers

    1990Hilltop Gardens1977

    Broadview Terrace1963Hillview Gardens

    1997List Policyreplaces annual land sales

    1980Building Planning Regulations

    P.D. +15m non domestic podium

    1984Sino-British Joint Declaration

    Limit land sales < 50 Ha/year

    1966Building Ordinance

    Plot Ratio and Site Coverage

    1955Building OrdinanceSetback Line

    ickened Ground // Datum Shift // Building Code

    +35.4 m

    +56.4 m

    24.7 m

    8.3 m0.0 m

    +7.0 m

    0.0 m-17.9 m

    20

  • Principal Datum

    2002e Belchers

    1990Hilltop Gardens1977

    Broadview Terrace1963Hillview Gardens

    1997List Policyreplaces annual land sales

    1980Building Planning Regulations

    P.D. +15m non domestic podium

    1984Sino-British Joint Declaration

    Limit land sales < 50 Ha/year

    1966Building Ordinance

    Plot Ratio and Site Coverage

    1955Building OrdinanceSetback Line

    ickened Ground // Datum Shift // Building Code

    +35.4 m

    +56.4 m

    24.7 m

    8.3 m0.0 m

    +7.0 m